A versatile vehicle with great hauling capabilities, the GMC Savana can easily carry up to 15 people and their cargo. It also provides the ideal foundation for those looking to upfit vans through an aftermarket manufacturer.
The 2016 Savana passenger van lineup is offered in 2500 Series - regular length with a 135-inch wheelbase - and the 3500 Series, which is available in regular (135-inch wheelbase) and extended (155-inch wheelbase) lengths. They can accommodate 12 or 15 people and are offered in LS and LT trim levels.
The 2500 Series vans are rated at 8,600 pounds (3,901 kg) GVWR, and 3500 Series, which includes full-bodied cargo/passenger vans rated at 9,600 pounds (4,354 kg) GVWR with a standard 4.8L gas V-8 engine or an available 6.0L gas V-8; and 9,900 pounds (4,490 kg) GVWR with the available Duramax 6.6L turbo-diesel.
New for 2016 is OnStar 4G LTE connectivity, which includes a Wi-Fi hotspot. It provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected all the time. The hotspot allows passengers to connect up to seven personal devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets to high-speed wireless Internet whenever the vehicle is on.
Also new is an available navigation radio with the GMC IntelliLink infotainment system. Additional standard and available features include:
Fuel-saving six-speed automatic transmissions
Available 6.6L Duramax turbo-diesel engine with B20 biodiesel capability
Available locking rear differential
Trailering rating of up to 10,000 pounds (4,400 kg) on 3500 models
StabiliTrak electronic stability control is standard
SiriusXM Satellite Radio is available
Standard OnStar with Turn-by-Turn navigation
A USB port is included with an available digital radio
A 220-amp generator is available.
Savana exterior highlights:
A chrome appearance package, including chrome front and rear bumpers and chrome grille with dual composite headlamps, is standard on LT models and available on LS
Black-painted bumpers are standard on LS
Swing-out 60/40-split passenger-side doors are standard on all models
Sliding passenger-side door is available on all models
Heated, power-adjustable outside folding mirrors are available on all models
Sixteen-inch steel wheels are standard
Exterior colors: Silver Ice Metallic, Cyber Gray Metallic, Dark Blue Metallic, Black, Rainforest Green Metallic, Summit White, Red Hot, Wheatland Yellow and Brownstone Metallic.
Savana interior features:
Power windows and door locks are standard on all models
Air conditioning (single-zone) is standard on all models
Rear air conditioning is standard on LT models and all 155-inch-wheelbase models, and available on LS
A range of digital audio systems, including CD/MP3 capability and USB port, is available on all models. A digital AM/FM/Aux stereo is standard
Standard OnStar with Turn-by-Turn navigation
SiriusXM Satellite Radio is available on all models
Child seat anchors (including four anchors and two tethers) are standard on all models
A driver information center is standard on all models. A compass and outside temperature features are available
A rear auxiliary heater is standard on LT models and all 155-inch-wheelbase models, and available on LS
Two auxiliary 12-volt power outlets located on the instrument panel are standard on all models
120-volt outlet on the instrument panel is standard on all models
Remote keyless entry is standard on LT and available on LS
Remote vehicle starter system is available on all models
Six-way power-adjustable driver's seat is available. A six-way power-adjustable passenger seat is also available
Leather-wrapped steering wheel and steering wheel audio controls are available on all models
Seating for 12 is standard; and 15 is optional
Custom vinyl or cloth upholstery is offered on all models in Medium Pewter.
Savana powertrains: 6.6L Duramax diesel
The powerful Duramax turbo-diesel V-8 is offered in some Savana models, delivering best-in-class torque and horsepower. Known by its "LGH" engine code, it is rated at 260 horsepower (194 kW) and 525 lb-ft of torque (712 Nm).
The LGH Duramax employs a robust EGR cooling system, along with revised turbocharger tuning that helps enhance EGR performance. It also has a large-capacity selective catalytic reduction system. In fact, the engine features the latest in emission control technology, making it the cleanest Duramax engine ever produced. NOx emissions are controlled via a Selective Catalyst Reduction aftertreatment system that uses urea-based Diesel (Emission) Exhaust Fluid (DEF). The DEF is housed in a 5.83-gallon (20 L) tank and needs to be replenished about every 5,000 miles (8,000 km). Electrically heated lines feed the DEF to the emission system to ensure adequate delivery in cold weather.
The Duramax also includes GM's second-generation diesel particulate filter system. Unlike most competitors' systems, the Duramax regenerates its diesel particulate filter using a downstream injection of diesel fuel directly into the exhaust stream and can travel up to 700 miles (1,125 km) between regenerations - a 300-mile (482 km) increase over the previous Duramax engine. The use of downstream injection also helps improve engine life by eliminating concerns about the possibility of diesel fuel contaminating engine oil, which can happen when fuel used for regeneration is introduced directly into the cylinder.
When it comes to cold-weather performance, the Duramax uses microprocessor-controlled glow plugs capable of a gas engine-like start performance in less than three seconds in temperatures as low as -20 degrees F (-29 o C), without a block heater. The engine has been developed to operate for at least 200,000 miles (322,000 km) on a rough-duty cycle without the need for a major overhaul; and it is backed with a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. (Certain commercial and government fleet customers receive the 5 year/100,000 mile powertrain limited warranty.)
A fuel-operated heater also is available for vans equipped with the Duramax 6.6L to quickly provide heat to the vehicle interior in cold weather. This seamlessly integrated system is designed into the Express chassis, saving customers the time and labor of upfitting an aftermarket system. The electronically controlled, fuel-operated heater operates automatically, turning on and off within parameters that include outside air temperature, fuel level, coolant temperature and engine use. It features a self-contained, pressurized auxiliary coolant heater (with a surge tank) that uses diesel fuel to generate up to 17,200 Btu/h (5 kW) of heating energy.
The Duramax engine is backed by GM's Hydra-Matic 6L90 heavy-duty six-speed automatic transmission.
Savana powertrains - gas engines
The GMC Savana offers a choice of two gas engines: a standard 4.8L V-8 rated at 285 horsepower (213 kW) and 295 lb-ft of torque (400 Nm) and an available 6.0L V-8 rated at 342 horsepower (255 kW) and 373 lb-ft of torque (506 Nm). Each is part of GM's legendary small-block engine family and designed for quiet operation, including:
Special friction-reducing polymer coating on piston skirts
Full-floating piston pins
Damping patch on the oil pan (externally mounted)
Timing chain tensioner
Backing the engines' quietness is the assurance of long-lasting performance. The engine family was validated under extreme conditions, with the 6.0L engine dynamometer-tested to the equivalent of 200,000 miles - 50,000 miles more than other engines in the family. The engines also feature many long-life engine components that can reduce maintenance intervals and costs. The iridium-tip spark plugs, engine coolant, accessory drive belt and sealing gaskets are some of these items.
Some of the stringent durability testing included cycling engines between the peak torque and peak horsepower rpm points - the equivalent of towing a heavy trailer up a steep grade - for 600 straight hours.
The engines are mated to the Hydra-Matic 6L90 six-speed automatic and a fast-idle option makes it easier to run accessories at a work site.
The 6.0L is also offered in a special version with hardened valve seats for the available dedicated compressed natural gas model - the industry's only CNG vehicle fully integrated at the factory, crash tested and backed by GM's 60,000 mile/five-year transferable powertrain limited warranty. For Express passenger van models, a three-tank system (RPO code UFM) provides a range of up to 200 miles and allows complete use of the cargo area. Express cargo van models offer a four-tank system with additional range.
Chassis and suspension
The Savana is built on a strong, ladder-type full frame architecture. The frame features fully boxed sections for greater strength and rigidity, while extended and tapered front frame rails are used for improved crashworthiness. Also, additional tubular frame cross members are used to increase torsional stiffness.
All models feature an independent short-long arm (SLA) front suspension, with a 35mm front stabilizer bar. Two-stage, semi-elliptic multi-leaf springs are used in the rear suspension and help locate a semi-floating axle.
Other chassis and suspension features include:
Hydroboost four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and dynamic rear proportioning are standard on all models
StabiliTrak electronic stability control is standard on all models
A locking rear differential is available on all models
31-gallon (117.3 L) fuel tank is standard on all models
8,600-pound GVWR on 2500 models
9,600-pound GVWR on 3500 models
9,900-pound GVWR on 3500 models with the 6.6L Duramax diesel.
Safety and crash-avoidance features
Savana is equipped with a host of safety features, including six standard airbags: frontal, head and side curtain, and thoracic airbags, which provide a higher level of protection in the event of a side impact or a vehicle rollover.
Enhanced Technology Glass (ETG), which provides superior occupant retention, is standard on 12- and 15-passenger models. Additional standard safety features include:
StabiliTrak electronic stability control system
OnStar with Turn-by-Turn navigation
Tire pressure monitoring
Flat and convex exterior mirrors (for a wider field of vision)
Four-wheel anti-lock disc brake system with Hydroboost
Daytime running lamps.